Merkel Warns Against Iran Sanctions, Threatens More

German Company Abandons Iran Project Under Israeli Pressure

by Jason Ditz, January 25, 2010

Speaking today amid the latest international push, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that it would be a “tragedy for the Iranian people” to apply additional sanctions to the nation. Then, Chancellor Merkel called for more sanctions.

Germany has been one of the most eager supporters of additional sanctions among the P5+1 and declared last week, after a high profile meeting with Israeli officials that they supported any and all efforts to increase sanctions against Iran. Though Chinese objections will make UN sanctions impossible, Germany has expressed openness to other routes, including hinting at unilateral sanctions.

Despite the Merkel government’s hawkish stance on Iran, several German companies have important contracts inside Iran. One of those companies, the Hamburg Company, today announced that it was canceling a deal to renovate the Bandar Abbas Port. The company, part owned by the German government, cited pressure from the Israeli government as driving the decision.

Some other German companies without direct ties to the government are less willing to go along with the policy, however. Many of the companies are expressing annoyance at the government’s meddling in business deals not covered by existing sanctions, and are angrily opposing unilateral sanctions which might force them to abandon existing deals to companies in other nations.

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